Students who do not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards cannot receive financial aid. However, if extenuating circumstances contributed to your inability to meet SAP requirements, you may request reconsideration by submitting an appeal form with appropriate supporting documentation.

Students who wish to appeal must do so by a prescribed deadline.

Appeal Deadlines:

  • Summer: Monday, July 1st
  • Fall: Monday, September 2nd
  • Spring: Monday, February 3rd

Extenuating or Mitigating Circumstances

If extenuating circumstances contributed to your inability to meet SAP requirements and you need financial assistance to attend school, you should submit an appeal. Mitigating or extenuating circumstances may include:

  • Illness
  • Death in the family
  • Family problems (e.g., parents' separation or divorce)
This is not a comprehensive list. Any documentable event(s), outside your control, that prevented you from meeting SAP standards may qualify.

Appeal Form

The appeal form gives you the opportunity to tell us about the event(s) that contributed to your unsatisfactory progress.

In your appeal form, you must:

  • Describe the extenuating circumstance(s) that led to your noncompliance.
  • Explain what has changed that will allow you to meet SAP requirements in the future.
  • Describe the timeframe of your extenuating circumstance(s) for the period that you failed SAP.

Complete your SAP Appeal Form now.

We realize that sharing personal information can be difficult. Be assured that your statement will remain confidential. Only financial aid personnel will review your appeal.

Supporting Documentation

To confirm your extenuating circumstance(s), you must attach documentation from an objective third party (e.g., physician, counselor, lawyer, social worker, teacher, religious leader, academic adviser, JMU Office of Disability Services and JMU Health Center).

Your third party documentation must:

  • Be submitted on official stationary or by email from a valid JMU email account. (This means when you use JMU email, the message must come directly from your third party’s official JMU email account to the SAP mailbox at
  • Verify that the extenuating circumstance(s) will not influence your future academic performance.
  • Confirm the timeframe referenced in your appeal.

After reviewing your appeal form and supporting information, we may request additional documentation for clarification purposes.

Appeal Decision

We will review your appeal within 30 days of receipt and notify you by email of its status. You will receive either our decision to grant your appeal, deny your appeal or a request for additional documentation. If we grant your appeal, we will place you on financial aid probation for one semester and give you an academic plan. Your academic plan will specify the conditions you must meet to continue receiving financial aid for a specified period. An award notice will follow once you sign and return your academic plan and we complete the review of your FAFSA.

If you fail to meet the terms of your academic plan, you will not qualify to receive financial aid for the subsequent semester. Any future appeal(s) will require new extenuating circumstances and a new (and different) academic plan. 

Students whose appeals are denied may choose to apply for an alternative loan. However, it may be necessary to secure a creditworthy cosigner to qualify.

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